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Dental and Oral Health Center

Sealants and Fillings on Baby Teeth

11/06/2008

Question:

I took my 7yr old son to a new dentist today. While I could see that my child has a few cavities,they look pretty small. This dentist says they all need pulpotomys and stainless crowns! 5 of them! Refuses to fill them;even the smallest. I asked about sealants for other baby teeth and this dentist says he doesn`t ever recommend them. Says they don`t even last any more than 2weeks to 2months. So refuses to put on any sealants unless the tooth is permanent. I guess my question is, does this seem like the typical view of most dentists for a child his age or should I consider looking for a new dentist?

Answer:

First, occlusal sealants are not used as a restorative material. They are used as a protective material on permanent molar teeth to help prevent tooth decay. If placed with good technique, they can last indefinitely. I would have to see the teeth in question and x-rays of the teeth in order to comment on the need for pulpotomys and stainless steel crowns. Based on the information you have supplied, I would suggest getting a second opinion before proceeding with treatment for your son.

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Response by:

James H Houston, DDS James H Houston, DDS
Instructor of Community Dentistry
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University